Common misconceptions about building a brand
“I’ve got a logo and a website, I have a brand”, “We are not Cola-Cola, we don’t have the budget to invest in our brand”
Many people have gaps in their knowledge about building their brand or hold pre-existing, flawed ideas, which prevent them from fully appreciating the benefits a brand can bring to their business.
Whether you realise it or not you have a brand, it’s much better to shape it the way you want rather than letting the market do it for you.
1 . Your brand is not your logo
We hear people say regularly: “I need my branding done, can you design me a logo?” So many websites claim that they create brands when all they do is generate logos, business cards or similar design items, so it’s hardly surprising that people are confused by this. Your visual identity is just a part of the brand process.
2 . Your brand is not just how things look
Although your visual identity and its design aesthetics play a key part. Even the best design can not paper over the cracks of a bad business. Your brand goes much further than your visual identity and depending on how well you build it, it can add or hinder other aspects of your organisation, from recruitment to operations to customer communications.
3. A brand is not advertising
Quite a common misconception. Historically, brand projects were handled by big advertising firms, but things have evolved. It requires specialist expertise to create brands and this involves a different kind of process to advertising. While the brand is a long-term endeavour, advertising is usually focused on short-term gains, such as increasing sales of a product in a given timeframe. Building your brand is more comprehensive. It also involves almost all areas of a business, whereas advertising emphasises a specific aspect, such as the quality or price of the product. Advertising and marketing is the process of persuading people to buy into the brand.
4. Brand and marketing are not the same thing
Marketing plays a key role in building brand recognition and its effectiveness is influenced by how well defined the brand identity is. Marketing is the ally to brand because it deals with nurturing relationships between your brand and your ideal audience.
6. Brand is not just for big companies
As the most talked-about brands tend to be large global corporations, it is no surprise that there exists a widely held view that branding is for big companies. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A more accurate analysis would be that big companies utilise good branding to grow and maintain their position in the market.
7. Your brand does add value
Your brand is an asset, it adds value to the business by making it protectable through a visual identity system that can be trademarked and licensed or sold.
A well-designed brand can also give a business vitality and make it more attractive to investors and more appealing to new talent. People presume that without a clear and immediate ROI, building a brand doesn’t provide good enough value.
8. Your brand affects your sales
Advertising and marketing activities are more focused on clearly defined issues and therefore deliver more specific results. If you want to sell 5,000 more items, try a marketing or advertising push first. If you want the people who bought those products to buy from you again and not from a competitor, build brand loyalty. The direct impact of branding on sales performance is harder to quantify because it manifests in intangible features such as increased trust and higher perceived quality.
9. Your brand should not wait
When do you think is the right time to enlist a specialist? Should you wait until you are successful and then things start to go wrong? We’ve seen brand and branding get sidelined by organisations for so many wrong reasons. Your brand starts to exist from the minute you are out in the public, so you need to be thinking about building it from the minute you hit the start button and then just adapt it and/or expand to your needs and growth.
10. Brand is not driven by trends
The most successful brands have built a solid foundation and stay true to their core values and don’t just change because something new comes along. Trends change but when you create your brand it should be founded on a forward-thinking vision and created using timeless strategies and design principles. Frequent changes project problems and confuse your audience.
11. Brand is not a commodity
Support for building your brand should be tailored to your businesses’ needs and offer a unique perspective and solutions to address your specific challenges. This is not an off the shelf service that can be purchased on Fiverr. You wouldn’t let someone unqualified operate on you, yet you will happily pick the cheapest option to help grow your business. If you don’t value your brand, why should your clients?
A brand is the sum of its many parts. According to this HBR piece, 64% of consumers who indicate that they have a brand relationship cite “shared values” as the primary reason for this. But shared values aren’t everything. Colour is said to increase brand recognition by 80%, but logos and colour schemes won’t create a brand by themselves. These misconceptions have some element of truth but cannot be seen in isolation. Brand-building is a complex mix.
a brand is a story that people can relate to within the context of their psychological identity. It is the sum of value perception, customer service, product quality, differentiation, ethos, and integrity. It is also the sum of determined and focused marketing activity, online and offline.
Focus on building awareness in your target market, promote affinity and loyalty, stay true to your goals, and remember that building your brand is a process.
Is it time you took your brand seriously?
Or do you just need the right support for your teams?
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